For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. Rom. 5,6



Mark 8:1-9

   1 ”In those days, when there was again a large crowd and they had nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples and said to them, 2 "I feel compassion for the people because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat. 3 "If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way; and some of them have come from a great distance." 4 And His disciples answered Him, "Where will anyone be able to find enough bread here in this desolate place to satisfy these people?" 5 And He was asking them, "How many loaves do you have?" And they said, "Seven." 6 And He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and taking the seven loaves, He gave thanks and broke them, and started giving them to His disciples to serve to them, and they served them to the people. 7 They also had a few small fish; and after He had blessed them, He ordered these to be served as well. 8 And they ate and were satisfied; and they picked up seven large baskets full of what was left over of the broken pieces. 9 About four thousand were there; and He sent them away.”

The disciples were often tested when they walked with Jesus. You have to count on it too, if you walk with Him. Because when Jesus wants to make disciples that are worthy of Him, He “trains” and qualifies not as we would naturally do it – but He removes all trust in them to themselves. The trust that came into man in fall of man, is described like this: “
your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Deut. 3:5).

   The human being is to be lead back to where it has its hope in Him alone. In brief – to have your faith in God! Therefore it happens that He leads His own into hopeless situations – for the human eye. Like Moses when he stood across the unbridgeable ocean, with the mighty Egyptian army behind him. Or how about the prophet Elijah who under the great famine, was sent to Zarephath, to be supported by a poor widow who was going to lie down to die with her son. (1King 17).

   You can say that: “This is impossible for man,” (Matthew 19:26) in both of these situations. Just being a Christian, is impossible for man itself, if only for a second. But it is only evident for us once in a while.
   Normally people tie this up to certain deeds, lifestyle or a “belief” that they think they have. By this it becomes manageable.
   This is not what it is about, but to stand pure and righteous in the sight of the three times Holy God – yes, without spot or wrinkle!

   In the story when Jesus fed the five thousand in John 6, it says that Jesus asked Philip: “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?” But then it says: “This He was saying to test him.”
   And Philip considers from what they have, and for Philip the situation seems hopeless. The faith in Jesus was not great, despite everything he already had witnessed.
   When we read about the disciples we can sometimes shake our heads wondering how on earth they could be so foolish, blind and lack faith, but that is only until we have learned to know our own “faith”.

   In the story about the same incident in Luke 9, we read that the disciples come to Him with a “good” suggestion: “Send the crowd away, that they may etc.”
   Without the disciples knowing exactly what they say, they see the solution for the people in leaving
Jesus, in trying to save themselves.
   This was Jesus disciples!

   How are His disciples today? What kind of suggestions do we have? More faith? More activities? A new strategy? More inventiveness concerning raising money? What do we suggest?

   The problem for the four and five thousand, was not that they were in the desert without food – because Jesus was there – but it was that the disciples counted with their own.
   If Jesus would have done as the disciples suggested, it would have gone exactly the way with the people as He predicted – they would have languished (as the old translations say) on the way.
   This is a serious reminder and warning, to everyone who lifts his voice concerning Christian activities – if the disciples were allowed to carry out their
suggestion to the people, the people would have languished!
   Jesus stopped them in this case. It says: “For He Himself knew what He was intending to do.” (John 6:6b). And what stopped them was Jesus command: “You give them something to eat!" (Luk. 9:13a). And actually from what you already have, which was as nothing, considering the amount of people.
put a stop to all thoughts and suggestions from the disciple’s point of view – they were now stuck and had nothing left than acting on Hid word. That became the people’s rescue.

   Also today we see this thought so widely spread, that we run the activities for Jesus. The truth is that Jesus is the only one who can run this activity. Without this realization, everything will run aground.
   It is like this; more than being a tool for the Word, we look at it as if the Word is the tool for us, more than being a tool for Jesus, we look at Jesus (His name), as a tool for us, more than being a tool for the Spirit, we look at the Spirit as a tool for us, more than being used, we want to use. Therefore He has to let us “meet the wall” so often, both for our own sake and for everybody else we will meet on the way, and for God’s kingdom.

   We so often hear complaining from Christian activities: "It is a bad condition!" Usually followed by: “We have to do this and that.” If we only could get more money! (A great amount of money - like a great gift - is immediately considered as a progress in the kingdom of God). If we could only start more associations! If we could only….!
   Imagine if the commandment sounded like this: “You can give them food, of what you have!” For, what do you have? You do not run a Christian activity without Jesus? Or is that exactly what you do? Are you placed into His
Vineyard, or are you trying to get Him into your own?
   He cannot be ensnared, just as much as he who is borne by His Spirit. (John 3:8).

   When we are stuck, He has a possibility. Is there anybody of us who is able to see that?

   Of the seven bread (v.5); they got left over’s – after they had already eaten – seven big baskets. (v.8).
   This is how it goes with what Jesus blesses. The wisest and most artful man, could not have done this with all his shrewdness. They had more left after feeding four thousand, than they had before! Oh, how we lack faith!

   We do not have to little when we have Jesus, the problem is that we have too much of our own. We try find out natural solutions, Jesus solutions is supernatural, yes, divine.

   This is last but not least a word for you who feel so poor, so ungodly, the situation is so dark, “here in my own heart exists only sin and filth,” but you have to continue to listen – “but by the work you did I am completely clean.”

   What happens here is a picture on the bread of life that God broke on Golgotha, and shared to all the worlds worn out and lost sinners. It was not just enough for everybody, it was more than enough.

   The Lord has a motive for His action: “I feel
compassion for the people.” (v.2a).
   He is the descendant of Abraham, by whom the entire world is blessed. (Gen. 22:18).
   This “bread” is according to God’s own word, broken for you too. Let that be enough for you, and you will find out that you have enough – yes, more than enough!


Holy Bible New American Standard Version
Translator: Benedicte Holtan Smart